Be honest - how much does a book's cover (and/or title) influence your interest?

Tanniel

Journeyed there and back again
#42
Single person front and center - check!
Weapon in hand - check!
Castle (walled city) in background - check!

3 out of 6, not bad. =)
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#43
Single person front and center - check!
Weapon in hand - check!
Castle (walled city) in background - check!

3 out of 6, not bad. =)
I should addend it to say "usually hooded or with cloak/ cape". And no, I didn't have your cover in mind, but did you design it yourself or did someone else do it?
 

Tanniel

Journeyed there and back again
#44
@Matticus Primal yes with a cloak I would have gotten 4.

I designed it myself, actually, and I wasn't looking at other covers when I did; maybe unconsciously I just copied the style. It's a bit funny because usually the idea of these covers is to show the protagonist (fantasy so often being protagonist-driven to the extreme with the "chosen one" etc.), which obviously isn't the case with my protagonist-less book. My reasoning was to highlight that despite the slow opening and plethora of characters, this was still a character-driven story (just not saying which character), so I ended up the same place as everyone else.
 

Diziet Sma

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#45
When it comes to bad covers, this one will always take the cake. Why is it Cam from Modern Family is running away from that bug fellow?


Good grief!:wideyed:

Single person front and center - check!
Weapon in hand - check!
Castle (walled city) in background - check!
3 out of 6, not bad. =)
I think your cover marries very well with the story. My favourite though is the map.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#46
@Matticus Primal yes with a cloak I would have gotten 4.

I designed it myself, actually, and I wasn't looking at other covers when I did; maybe unconsciously I just copied the style. It's a bit funny because usually the idea of these covers is to show the protagonist (fantasy so often being protagonist-driven to the extreme with the "chosen one" etc.), which obviously isn't the case with my protagonist-less book. My reasoning was to highlight that despite the slow opening and plethora of characters, this was still a character-driven story (just not saying which character), so I ended up the same place as everyone else.
Hope you don't think I'm picking on you, just pointing out the patterns I see, which extend to many of the famous books out there as well.

Perhaps in reaction to the visual tropes I pointed out above, there's also a tendency in fantasy book covers for seals/ icons. The latest round of covers for GoT (forgive me, but I hate trying to remember the longer acronym) are good examples of what I'm talking about here.

Mind you, the seals came much later. As in, when I was picking through my father in law's library, I found a hardcover of the original printing and it had a guy with a cloak riding a horse with weapon in hand on it. So it's my theory that the book cover switches to the seal after it's already established itself.
 

Theophania

Journeyed there and back again
#47
I've had covers explained to me as a code. It's what draws the reader in, so it needs to tell the reader all the things they really want to know: what sort of book is it, who's the intended readership, is it like anything I already enjoyed? So you've got to try and make your cover enough like everybody else's (books that are like yours) to attract readers, but different enough to stand out. Which is simple, obviously.

BookBub did an interesting blog post about this the other week - according to them, cover design (content, rather than just quality) does matter, at least in some genres, and they've got the evidence. That's the interesting thing about digital - suddenly, we can actually find out what covers do best, rather than just guessing.

I have to say, if I see a man's bare chest on the cover, it's an immediate turn-off - because I've got a pretty good guess that there'll be an alpha-male in there somewhere. So the cover does its job: attracts people who like alpha-males, and keeps people like me away.
 

Tanniel

Journeyed there and back again
#48
Hope you don't think I'm picking on you, just pointing out the patterns I see, which extend to many of the famous books out there as well.
No worries, I never felt anything like that. And if the shoe fits, well, it fits!

I have to say, if I see a man's bare chest on the cover, it's an immediate turn-off
I must say, that would turn me off as well - I keep thinking about Putin riding a horse shirtless.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#52
I'm assuming in this scenario I am in a book store with no prior inclination to buy something. Browsing.

The cover has a lot to do with whether I pick the book up, that and the title.

I was just in a book store doing exactly this, browsing. This book store was very niche market with eclectic tastes. Most stuff was recent spanning a wide range of topics, but probably a majority of the stuff would end up on a hipsters bookshelf. Lots of feminist books.(Also high price printings of classics) here's what I picked up.

https://www.amazon.com/1913-Before-Storm-Florian-Illies/dp/161219351X

Loved that cover, it just stared at me, the title drew me in I knew it was for me.

https://www.amazon.com/Romanovs-1613-1918-Simon-Sebag-Montefiore/dp/0307266524

Another great cover, shows me exactly what would interest me, but the price made me put it back.

https://www.amazon.com/Infested-Infiltrated-Bedrooms-Took-World/dp/022636108X

I thought this was a horrid cover with a cheap name. I didn't even read the blurb to find out what the book was really about until just now, I just passed right by it.


I picked up a number of things because I knew the title or author, and I picked up dozens I didn't know but based on the cover, figured out what it was or what it was about, these were all Rejected for numerous reasons, but the cover made me look closer at it.
 

P Dee

A farm boy with a sword
#53
Covers catch my eye. That's what they're meant to do. Anything that looks tacky does put me off, which can be unfortunate, as some covers do not do their contents any favours. Titles occasionally pique my interest. Again if they're generic--I don't know, Awakening: The Misty Isles Chronicles, Book One, for instance (sorry if anyone's written a book with such a title)--it gives me doubts about the content, and the writer's imagination.

But, if a book does arouse my curiosity, then it's all about the first few pages, or couple of chapters. The hook is key. But a bad cover is much more likely to turn me away than a good one is likely to draw me in.
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#54
Difficult question . . .
Back in the 60s/70s/80s fashions were constantly changing - and some covers were just plain off-putting!
But equally, some were inspirational!
I rather suspect that like the books themselves, the customer's personal taste was going to be a major factor in deciding A) whether a cover is good or bad, and B) whether to try the book anyway. Covers, to me,were generally a factor in that decision, but only a relatively small one.
But that was quite a few years ago. The world has changed.
Firstly, a fair amount of publication is now electronic - and covers are rarely seen, and have shrunk in importance. Shrunk even more to someone who uses an old Kindle, and only has black&white!
Secondly, much self-publication has hand painted watercolour cover pictures painted by the author (or a friend). I won't name examples, but anyone who uses Twitter will have seen examples. They are quite off-putting!
So my conclusion is that covers are less important than they used to be, and any influence they do have is likely to be negative - so get it right, or just do something 'neutral'. Don't, don't, DON'T overreach your own skills! (And OK, I admit it - if you look at the signature below, two of those are mine; but I am not proud of them and if we ever get round to a re-launch I will do better or pay to have the job done professionally. I have nothing to do with the third . . . )

And one final point - it helps if the cover image has something to do with the story. I remember some old Eric Frank Russel covers that looked like someone had photographed some plasticene model aliens made by his grandchildren. Others would have been counted as 'poor use of Photoshop' if Photoshop had existed then! The books were great, the covers were bog-paper (and I hope the cover-'artist' is still alive to read this!)
 
#55
Covers matter greatly in two instances. When I have never heard of the author before and when it's my first time reading that author.
I agree. If it's an author I know or a book I've heard of, the cover really doesn't matter. I've read some H.G. Wells books with pretty silly cover art. But if I'm scrolling through Kindle or Audiobooks, a cover is what catches my eye.
 
#56
If I'm looking for something new, it must have a good cover. I guess it's one of those things that a good book can't rely on, but definitely can't live without. It's no different than the title or back blurb, it's gotta draw my attention!